English-made Ford Model T Torpedo

Ford Motor CompanyCirca 1911

Musée des arts et métiers

Musée des arts et métiers

The people’s car par excellence, the Ford Model T marked the transition from the luxury, handcrafted vehicle to mass-production. In his large factory in Detroit, its creator, Henry Ford, pioneered a new organisation of work with assembly-line fabrication. Mass-production of one simple model enabled Ford to reduce costs and market an affordable vehicle. Ford also standardised components to facilitate the vehicle’s production and maintenance. Designed to withstand the mainly dirt roads in the United States in the early 20th century, and nicknamed the ‘spider’ because of its wide wheelbase and high-slung chassis, it had excellent roadholding. To ‘democratise the automobile’, Ford made it robust and simple to drive, with an automatic gearbox, control levers and an easy switch from forward to reverse. The Model T was made from 1908 to 1927 and more than fifteen million were sold all over the world.

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  • Title: English-made Ford Model T Torpedo
  • Creator: Ford Motor Company
  • Date: Circa 1911
  • Date Created: Circa 1911
  • Location: United States of America
  • Provenance: Musée des arts et métiers
  • Contributor: Author: Sandra Delaunay. English translation: David Wharry
  • Inventory number: Inv. 18944
  • Credits: © Musée des arts et métiers-Cnam/photo Michèle Favareille